8:15 - drop "J" off at the metro, with Lhotse, baggage, and groceries in tow
8:20 - stop at local coffee shop to well, get caffeinated. Forgot to add a touch of sugar, go back and add sugar, and in the meantime see a "missing" poster for one of my students... (she ran away for 3 months, turned herself in and is safely going to a program away from her familiar group of "friends-- I think it's a good thing)
8:27ish - After the shock of seeing the poster, I get back in my car and head to the highway. Seems to be going until.....
8:33 ish - TRAFFIC! MAJOR TRAFFIC! AND RAIN!! Did I mention it started to rain, and by that I mean downpour, oh and traffic.
8:45 ish - Enter barking dog in the car. yep, that's Lhotse. After a lot of petting and driving she finally decides to sit quietly.
9:30 - Still traffic, still rain, not even close to Richmond (which on a normal day would only be a 2 hour trip..if that.)
10:00 Pull off the road, in the rain, let dog out, take a walk, drink some more caffeine
10:05 Back on the road, more traffic
12:00 Finally pass Richmond! That's AMAZING!! So happy to have made it past that point, I really feel like I can move along now.
2:00 Another stop-- gas, "lunch", dog walk. It starts looking gray again, I fear more rain, ergo more traffic
2:30 Yep, more traffic, but no rain
3:00 Open road. Sweet!
4:00 Dog Stop, still really cloudy, strange....
4:15 Turn on the radio... Finally in North Carolina. Strangely...cars have thinned out... humm....
4:20 TORNADO WARNINGS FOR THE LISTENING AREA! WHAT???? From this point on I'm constantly listening to the radio, it seems like I'm going in the opposite directions of the tornado, but who knows? So, I keep listening.
4:45 Reports of touchdowns around me, but it seems north of my driving...so I keep going. Lhotse is amazingly quiet.
5:00 I'm getting close. I see signs for the coast. Still cloudy and ominous, but I decided to keep going. I'm in the listening area, and they keep talking about funnel clouds, but I haven't seen any, and don't see any in front of me.
5:30 Almost there
5:45 RENTAL OFFICE! I pick up the keys for the rental. I've made it. A huge downpour is about to unload on us, but I don't care. After 10 hours of white-knuckle driving I find the place and get ready for a huge glass of wine.
Phew. It was quite a trip to get down there, but after six o'clock everything seemed to brighten, lighten and get warm. The first day was still quite chilly and windy, but the sun was out. I didn't go in the water, and just read and relaxed on my own. It was kind of nice being there by myself, but I have to admit I got lonely quickly.
It gradually warmed up to mid 80's throughout the week. Jarle, Mom and Dad joined Lhotse and I on Monday evening. The rest of the week may seem quite unimpressive to you. We ate, swam, relaxed, napped, drank, played a few mean games of scrabble, walked, collected shells, played many many games of bocci ball, and had a ball!
The trip had been well worth it. The fresh ocean breeze was great, and I actually felt refreshed. I love these kinds of trips, where all you have to do is be you. That's it. The best part of the trip was exposing Lhotse to the beach. At first she was a bit timid, but by the end she made up for it. She loved discovering the new smells, and ran all over the wide beaches.
So now that countdown is on to the next beach.. Next up family vacation at Bethany Beach! Can't wait to do it all over again. Without the Tornadoes, Traffic, and multiple Lhotse stops.
|There was a place were you could see more sand dollars, but all I saw were broken ones.|
|A new pastime for the Lhotse. She loves to fetch water-logged sticks.|
|Broken shells abound, but we did find many non-shattered ones too.|
|Cute husband enjoyed his time at the beach too.|
|Lhotse! On the run!!!|
|I had to jump for joy because I was finally on vacation!|